SURPRISING STUFF

 

Coldstone is for sale.

The ice cream place right near where Peets used to be on Main Street is up for sale. If you have just under a Coldtone Creameryhundred thousand, and a yen to serve great ice cream then this classy place might be the one for you. Winter can be tough though. The rent is $6975.00 per month. There is also a fee to be paid Coldstone for the franchise. The place was grossing $4700.00 per month. Do you need remedial math tutoring to examine why you might want to, or not want to, take the place over?

The #4 Tax Increment District was determined to be a success.

Why?

1.) The TID district was issued for a blighted area – which is absurd because the property values are so high in TID#4 that most local residents can’t afford to live or own property there – and because of the high appraised values it generated 1.5 to 2 million dollars in TID#4 revenue every year. Calling TID#4 a blighted area along the shoreline of Geneva Lake was a real stretch of the state’s definition for a blighted area, except for maybe the theater and Travers hotel, which still remain and were not on the list of original projects. A Blighted Area as defined in the TIF statute is as follows:

66.1105(2)(ae)1.a. a. An area, including a slum area, in which the structures, buildings or improvements, which by reason of dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence, inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation, or open spaces, high density of population and overcrowding, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of these factors is conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency, or crime, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, morals or welfare.

2.) The city’s failure to include the prior approval construction of the multi-million dollar developments for the Cove and the Meridian Hotel in the application for TID#4 misled the TIF board. If the TIF board had been told, then TID#4 application may not have been approved. Furthermore, the tax increment created by the building of Cove and the Meridian Hotel made TID#4 look like a great success story. The Cove and Meridian Hotel by themselves increased our total local property taxes by 1/2 % for the last 15 years and generated an extra $4.5 million for the city’s TID#4 fund.

3.) When calculating taxes and looking at the success of a TID district, the increase in the property value is used to justify the TID spending and that increase is also used to increase our taxes; however, in making those calculations “inflation” is not included. Inflation when compounded over the 20-year life of a TID can dwarf and disguise any actual improvements that were created by TID spending, but inflation makes even bad TID data look a lot better than it is.
Simply put, the more a Tax Improvement District’s value increases, regardless of cause (TID spending, inflation or other), the more the city collects from local area residents, and the more that city has available to spend, which is the city’s definition of a successful Tax Increment District. However, from the taxpayer’s perspective TID#4 fell far short of a successful venture.
It has been a costly venture which will have cost local area taxpayers about $30 million dollars by the time it is finally closed, while only netting a few million in actual benefits for residents, all of which could have been done for far less without TID#4.

Define success!

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